Kochi, Oct 23 : Yachting has become famous among youth in Kochi, the stopover for the famous 'Volvo Ocean Race'.
Kochi, said to be the queen of Arabian Sea, is blessed with wind and large backwaters, which makes it an ideal location for water sports.
But unfortunately, it is not used to conduct any events of international repute, until of course, the Volvo Race committee chose it, making it the first Asian port that the race will visit in its history of 35-years.
This small port is becoming an emerging place for the water sport enthusiasts. Many big and small yachting clubs are taking shape in the city and one such is the Kerala Yachting Association (KYA) Club based in Kochi with a primary aim to impart training to youth and create awareness for sailing.
According to the organisers of this club, the impending Volvo Ocean Race when it calls on Cochin will evoke considerable interest and enthusiasm among the youths for sailing like it happens in case of football and cricket.
"It would be the same kind of interest that would be created once the Volvo comes and goes down Kochi. Volvo is a tremendous sport. It's is a global event," said Raju George, President of KYA.
He said children in large number are joining their club. Their club takes pride in bringing this sport within the reach of common people. Otherwise, yachting is an expensive sport of the elite class.
"It is very easy to drive a yacht. We have been training for last sixteen days," said Allen, 4th standard student.
Even the young ones are eager to see the famed race visit to Cochin Port.
"I choose this sport yachting because it is second most glamorous sport in the world. I am expecting Volvo to come over here. I have been training here for last sixteen days," said Abel Mathew, 6th standard student.
The race is expected to be watched by over 1.8 billion television viewers in over 180 countries, which puts the Volvo Ocean Race among the 20 largest sports events in terms of global media coverage, at par with the World Soccer Championship and the Olympic Games.
The 'Volvo Ocean Race' will stopover in India from December 3 to 13, 2008. By Juhan Samuel